Camping now banned on Gaspé beaches, after travelers littered last year

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Tourists and residents who wish to park their vehicle or pitch their tent on Gaspé beaches this summer should instead go to the designated campsites.

With travel to the Maritimes and the United States banned due to the pandemic last summer, tourists flocked to Gaspé beaches, leaving behind a trail of dirty diapers, trash and trash from the pits septic.

To prevent this from happening again, the city has decided to completely ban camping on all beaches and most car parks in the area.

“It is clear that we did not want to relive the same file two years in a row,” said the mayor of Gaspé, Daniel Côté.

Côté said he understands the ban will disrupt some residents who are used to camping on beaches, but said it comes after months of public consultations and meetings with local businesses and members of the nation. Mi’gmag Gespeg.

Campers have set up makeshift sites along the beach in Douglastown, Quebec. last summer. (Martin Toulgoat / Radio-Canada)

Normally the beaches come under provincial jurisdiction, but in order to implement the ban and other camping regulations, the city has now signed a lease agreement allowing them to lease the land and gain legal powers.

“It’s definitely not the perfect solution – there is no perfect solution,” Côté said. “Everyone knows that last summer was very difficult.”

In addition to the ban, the city will also place barriers around beaches so vehicles cannot move and add trash cans at sites to avoid litter.

The city is also hiring additional security guards who will patrol the beaches, working with the provincial police to ensure the new regulations are followed.

Anyone who sets up camp on the beaches faces fines ranging from $ 200 to $ 2,000.

“Our goal is not to fine people. Our goal is to protect beaches,” Côté said.

Protect wildlife

Tim Adams, a guide from the Mi’gmag Gespeg Nation, hopes the ban will help protect the region’s fragile wildlife. (Julia Page / CBC)

Tim Adams, a member of the Mi’gmag Gespeg Nation and an interpretive guide to the Mi’gmag sites, was disturbed by what he saw on the protected marshes near Douglastown Beach last year.

“There was a baby diaper – like a full baby diaper on the beach and obviously it’s not a local that changes the baby and leaves the diapers there,” Adams said.

He said he was particularly worried because the area is home to several species of seabirds, as well as salmon in the nearby river.

“All these people from the big cities come here and they have no respect for nature,” Adams said. “I think [the ban] is necessary because last year was just ridiculous. ”

Julien Roussin Côté, founder of Go-Van.com and “vanlifer” since 2015, also supports the ban. He said it’s important for those new to camping or pickup trucks to remember to respect the residents of the places they visit.

“I don’t see why anyone would park on a beach to be honest,” Côté said. “These are fragile environments.”

Travelers who wish to camp in the area still have options. There are over 900 private and public campgrounds in the region and the town of Gaspé is setting up overflow sites in case these sites fill up.


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